A word of advice when divorcing… “stuff”.
When we separated my ex-wife moved out of the house. There was a lot of “stuff” in the house. I decided right from when we first agreed to separate that she could have any “stuff” she wanted, except my CDs and tools.
In fact I even drew up a list and suggested she take some things she hadn’t thought of because mostly only I used them. Then when she moved I left her entirely to her own devises to take anything she wanted with her. I did this in order to bend over backwards to be fair about splitting possessions.
Some friends and relations didn’t get this initially. They pointed out the injustice of it because I was clearly being ripped off. What they didn’t realize is that in a divorce this “stuff” can become symbolic. Some people want to hold on to or get “stuff” as a way of getting one over the ex. To me, I definitely didn’t want anything that reminded me of her. As for the rest, it is only “stuff” and just not important. I thought it a cheap price to be able to start my new life. At that stage the family court had not entered the equation and I moved on very happily with my new life.
This was a really good attitude to have. Soon my friends and family understood and helped me get rid of all sorts of “stuff” as well as find replacements for the things I really did need. Like a bed!
What this did was dis-empower her. My words and actions made it clear that I didn’t give a rat’s posterior about the “stuff”. I had already moved on in my own mind. All I wanted was to share the care of the kids.
Once the court process started she obviously got advice to try and show there was “conflict” She tried all sorts of things.
One thing she tried a few times was that she asked for all the best kids toys as a way of trying to win over the kids. I didn’t argue about any of it. I even arranged to get the large items delivered to her. After doing this a few times she gave up because it clearly wasn’t winding me up so it didn’t give her any satisfaction.
I had clearly moved on in my life and she was not happy about that one little bit.
Things get messy with kids but the less that your ex has hold over you the more liberating it is. A mountain of “stuff” is not as good as that feeling of liberation.
Here is another guy dealing with the “stuff” left over from a divorce. Her ex left behind her wedding dress. So he has started a web site to find 101 things to do with his ex-wife’s wedding dress. It’s a hoot!
What he is doing is making a mockery of a symbol. The wedding dress. Personally I think that is also a statement about the true value of marriage. That is also a good approach. I like subtle.
If you are going through a divorce then in 3 out of 4 cases your wife will move out or kick you out. Either way take my advice – get rid of the “stuff” as fast as possible. Anything you can replace – just let her have it. If you don’t need it then get rid of it. If it is something the kids need then give it to her if she asks for it and find a way to replace it. The faster you do this the better. Overnight wouldn’t be too hasty. You’ll find it very liberating.